Category: History

“Masters of the Air” – The Trailer is Here!

I said it before and I’ll say it again, “Deal me in!”

From the executive producers of Band of Brothers and The Pacific comes Masters of the Air. The 9-part series event premieres January 26

Based on Donald L. Miller’s book of the same name, and scripted by John Orloff, “Masters of the Air” follows the men of the 100th Bomb Group (the “Bloody Hundredth”) as they conduct perilous bombing raids over Nazi Germany and grapple with the frigid conditions, lack of oxygen, and sheer terror of combat conducted at 25,000 feet in the air. Portraying the psychological and emotional price paid by these young men as they helped destroy the horror of Hitler’s Third Reich, is at the heart of “Masters of the Air.” Some were shot down and captured; some were wounded or killed. And some were lucky enough to make it home. Regardless of individual fate, a toll was exacted on them all.

The series features a stellar cast led by Academy Award nominee Austin Butler, Callum Turner, Anthony Boyle and Nate Mann, who are joined by Raff Law, Academy Award nominee Barry Keoghan, Josiah Cross, Branden Cook and Ncuti Gatwa.

Hailing from Apple Studios, “Masters of the Air” is executive produced by Steven Spielberg through Amblin Television, and Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman for Playtone. Amblin Television’s Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey co-executive produce alongside Playtone’s Steven Shareshian. In addition to writing, Orloff co-executive produces. Graham Yost also serves as co-executive producer. Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck, Cary Joji Fukunaga, Dee Rees and Tim Van Patten serve as directors.

“JFK: What the Doctors Saw” (2023) / Z-View

JFK: What the Doctors Saw (2023)

Director: Barbara Shearer

Tagline: None.

The Story:

Immediately after President Kennedy was assassinated conspiracy theories appeared.  The official story is that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.  Despite witnesses who swore there was another gunman, the Warren Commission determined that Oswald was the sole gunman.

JFK: What the Doctors Saw documents what the doctors at Parkland Hospital dealt with when President Kennedy was brought in mortally wounded.  By using archival news footage, copies of official reports, and most importantly video interviews with these doctors, we are given first hand accounts of what these medical professionals dealt with.  What they saw does not line up with the official story,

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)

I was just five years old (by a month) when President Kennedy was assassinated.  Since I was young I’ve followed the news reports and conspiracy theories.  When I was in high school I read the Warren Commission Report.

Over the years there have been many documentaries and specials that “investigated” the assassination of President Kennedy.  What this documentary does is focus on what the doctors at Parkland Hospital saw when President Kennedy was brought in.  Despite there being no doubt that the President was mortally wounded, they did their best to save him.  While the official story is that the President was shot from behind, all of the doctors believed that at least one shot came from the front.  This would explain the small bullet wound to President Kennedy’s neck and the blown out portion at the back of his skull.

The doctors all agree that the official autopsy report is not consistent with the President’s injuries as they saw them.  The doctor’s have said this from day one and have never changed their stories.  You can see this from the written reports that had to submit.  It’s very powerful to see video interviews with the doctors shown to the public for the first time in this documentary.

If you’re familiar with the Kennedy assassination, there isn’t much new ground covered.  Still, hearing from the doctors about their personal experiences on that terrible day is powerful.

“JFK: What the Doctors Saw” – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

I’ve followed all of the JFK assassination conspiracies since I was a child.  I read the Warren Report when I was in high school.  Although I’m not expecting much that I’m not already aware of, it will interesting to see JFK: What the Doctors Saw.

So yeah, deal me in!

Previously unreleased footage unveils an extraordinary reunion involving seven doctors who were present in the Parkland Hospital Emergency Room where President John F. Kennedy was rushed after being shot on November 22, 1963.

Their testimonies divulge unsettling medical details surrounding the assassination, raising doubt about government investigations that found Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.

Stream the new P+ Original documentary JFK: What The Doctors Saw on November 14, exclusively on Paramount+

“The Devil on Trial” (2023) / Z-View

The Devil on Trial (2023)

Director:  Chris Holt

Written by:  Chris Holt

Tagline: Did the Devil Do It?

The Story: 

In 1981, Arne Johnson stabbed Alan Bono to death.  Bono was Johnson’s landlord and had, in the past, dated Johnson’s girlfriend.  Although there was no doubt that Johnson was the murderer, he claimed he didn’t remember doing it.  When the case went to trial, his defense was that he was possessed by the devil/a demon and therefore wasn’t responsible.

This documentary explores the foundation for that defense and the result of the trial.

In 1980, Arne Johnson was dating Debbie Glatzel.  Some of Debbie’s family believed that her younger brother, David was possessed by the devil.  On more than one occasion David had to be held down by family members (and Arne) while David cursed, screamed and convulsed.  David’s behavior was extreme enough that his mother contacted Ed and Lorraine Warren.  The Warrens were famous for their involvement in The Amityville Murders.  The Warrens assisted David’s mother in getting the church to conduct an exorcism.  During the procedure, as David was struggling, Arne reportedly yelled at the demon, “Leave this little kid alone.  Take on me.  I’m here.”

So when Arne killed David, he asserted that the devil/demon had made him do it.  This documentary uses actual voice recordings. archival footage, home movies and actor recreations to recount the story.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)

While Arne wanted to use the “the devil made me do it” defense, he never got to.  The judge ruled that “possession” was not a valid defense.  He didn’t allow it.  Arne ended up being found guilty of manslaughter.

Now to David Glatzel.  Some of David’s family believed that he was possessed.  One of David’s brothers said it was an act.  He said that during one of David’s sessions while cursing, hitting and yelling, David’s father came into the room.  Father grabbed David and slapped him.  Dad told David to shut up and sit in a chair.  The brother said, “The devil did as he was told”.  In other words, it was an act.

David’s mother was a religious woman.  She may have believed that David was possessed at the start.  By the time the Warrens got involved, it seemed to be more about fame and the money. Also near the end of the documentary a sick allegation against the mother is made.  I won’t give it away, but if true indicates mom had serious issues of her own.

As to the Warrens, this film puts them in a very bad light.  They took advantage of David’s family.  The Warrens kept almost all of the money off book and movie deals in regard to David’s story.  Money that had been promised to the Glatzel family.  If you’ve seen The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, that’s the Glatzel family’s story.

The Devil on Trial leaves it to viewers to determine if the possessions were real or not,  There’s evidence that could support whatever you decide.  As to the actions of the Warrens, the evidence points to them not being on the up and up.

“Immediate Family” – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

I’ll be watching for this one.

One-night screenings on December 12th, available everywhere December 15th

Immediate Family tracks the rise and collaborations of a group of legendary studio musicians through the 1970s and onward, chronicling their illustrious partnerships and their formidable record of hit-making. Directed by Denny Tedesco, whose documentary The Wrecking Crew followed the first wave of studio musicians in the 60s, the film reveals the machinery behind the booming era of the singer-songwriter, when the talents of these four musicians were in furious demand. The foundations of their enduring friendship, formed on the road and in studios, is recalled with dynamite clarity —reminisced with fondness through intimate interviews with the guys themselves, as well as the memories of some of rock’s most iconic voices. Immediate Family is a backstage tour spanning multiple eras of musical history. #documentary #rock #movie #trailer #comingsoon

Starring Carole King, James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt, Keith Richards, Don Henley, David Crosby, Jackson Browne, Lyle Lovett, Phil Collins

Directed by Denny Tedesco

“NAPOLEON” directed by Ridley Scott, starring Joaquin Phoenix – The 2nd Official Trailer is Here!

Deal me in.

Joaquin Phoenix takes the crown. Watch the new trailer for #Napoleon, from acclaimed director Ridley Scott. See it in Premium Large Formats, Screen X, 70mm and IMAX this Thanksgiving.

Napoleon is a spectacle-filled action epic that details the checkered rise and fall of the iconic French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, played by Oscar®-winner Joaquin Phoenix. Against a stunning backdrop of large-scale filmmaking orchestrated by legendary director Ridley Scott, the film captures Bonaparte’s relentless journey to power through the prism of his addictive, volatile relationship with his one true love, Josephine, showcasing his visionary military and political tactics against some of the most dynamic practical battle sequences ever filmed.

Directed by: Ridley Scott

Written by: David Scarpa

“Lawmen: Bass Reeves” – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

It’s cool that Bass Reeves is getting a series.  I first posted about him back in 2013: The Life and Times of Deputy U.S. Marshall Bass Reeves.  I ended the post with…

I’m somewhat surprised Bass Reeves’ life story hasn’t been turned into a movie or tv series.

Now eight years later we’re getting a Bass Reeves series.  I always said, we’re ahead of the curve here.  ; )

From Executive Producers Taylor Sheridan and David Oyelowo comes the untold story of the most legendary lawman in the Old West: Bass Reeves. Lawmen: Bass Reeves, follows the journey of Reeves (Oyelowo) and his rise from enslavement to law enforcement as the first Black U.S. Marshal west of the Mississippi. Despite arresting over 3,000 outlaws during the course of his career, the weight of the badge was heavy, and he wrestled with its moral and spiritual cost to his beloved family.

Stream the series premiere of Lawmen: Bass Reeves on November 5, exclusively on Paramount+.

TOO MANY BULLETS by Max Allan Collins / Z-View

TOO MANY BULLETS by Max Allan Collins

Publisher: Titan Books

First sentence…

At the end of this narrative, certain guilty people go free.

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

When Robert Kennedy asks Nate Heller to be his bodyguard, Heller agrees.  How could he refuse?  Nate and Bobby had been friends for years.  Plus security is a service that Heller and his agency provides.  Nate agreed even when Bobby’s demands made protecting him nearly impossible.  “No guns” and Nate as the only bodyguard. That’s how Nate Heller came to be present when Robert Kennedy was assassinated.

Of course the conspiracy theories started almost immediately.  The same people who killed John Kennedy got to Robert.  It was the mafia, the C.I.A., the… you fill in the blank.  It was a conspiracy.  There’s no way it was a lone gunman.  Heller didn’t buy into any of it.  He was there.  Hell, he was one of the first to grab Sirhan Sirhan as the little murderer was still firing.  No, they got the right guy.

Then Heller begins to hear things that don’t add up.  The number of bullets for instance.  By almost every account, there were more bullets fired than Sirhan’s gun could hold.  There were witnesses who saw more than one gunman.  Their reports were dismissed without merit.  Plus Sirhan Sirhan’s lawyer didn’t present evidence that could have brought doubt as to if he acted alone.  Then there were the questionable characters all around the periphery of the assassination.  Even though Nate was there, he was starting to have questions.

So Nate Heller decides to do his own investigation.  What he discovers isn’t in any history book and just might get him killed.


I’m a huge fan of Max Allan Collins’ Nate Heller series.  Heller is a fictional detective who finds himself in the middle of real crimes.  Heller ages in real time as the series progresses. His tales are fiction mixed with extensive research and historical fact. Heller has been in the mix on everything from the Lindbergh baby kidnapping/murder to the suspicious death of Marilyn Monroe and much more. It’s fun watching Heller interact with famous (and infamous) folks right out of our history books. Equally enjoyable is Collins’ take on the crimes and what may have really happened.

TOO MANY BULLETS is another great addition to the Nate Heller legacy.  It gets my highest recommendation.


“The Devil on Trial” – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

The Devil on Trial provided the inspiration for The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It.  The Conjuring film was a dramatization while The Devil on Trial is a documentary of the one and only time demonic possession was used as a defense in a US murder trial.

Deal me in.

The Devil on Trial explores the first – and only – time “demonic possession” has officially been used as a defense in a U.S. murder trial. Including firsthand accounts of alleged devil possession and a shocking murder, this extraordinary story forces reflection on our fear of the unknown.

DIRECTOR: Christopher Holt

“London After Midnight” starring Lon Chaney – A Rare Still!

I continue to hold out hope that someday a print of London After Midnight will be found.  London After Midnight starred Lon Chaney, was directed and co-produced by Tod Browning.  There is no known copy of the film (the last known print was destroyed in a fire in the 1960s) and is considered to be the most “sought-after” lost film. From WikipediA…

London After Midnight (also marketed as The Hypnotist) is a lost 1927 American silent mystery film with horror overtones directed and co-produced by Tod Browning and starring Lon Chaney, with Marceline Day, Conrad Nagel, Henry B. Walthall and Polly Moran. The film was distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and was based on the scenario “The Hypnotist”, also written by Browning.

I truly hope that a copy of the film is found for fans, like me, to see.

“Batman & Bill” (2017) / Z-View

Batman & Bill (2017)

Director: Don Argott, Sheena M. Joyce

Stars: Marc Tyler Nobleman, Bill Finger, Fred Finger, Portia Finger, Thomas Andrae, Jerry Bails, Otto Binder,
Athena Finger, Judy Flam, Stacey C. Friends, Carmine Infantino, Stan Lee, Todd McFarlane, Daniela Nobleman  
and Bob Kane.

Tagline: None.

The Plot…

For decades one of the biggest “secrets” that insiders knew was that Bob Kane wasn’t the sole creator of Batman. Despite this knowledge, every appearance of The Dark Knight contained the credit “Created by Bob Kane”.  The truth of the matter is Bill Finger was the creator of Batman’s costume, Robin, Catwoman, The Joker, The Riddler, Commissioner Gordan, the Batcave, Gotham City and more.  Yet Bill Finger received no credit or compensation while Bob Kane got rich and famous.

Batman & Bill is the story of one man’s quest to right this wrong.  Despite overwhelming odds justice finally prevailed.  This is that story.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)

Although the general public didn’t know about Bill Finger, it wasn’t a secret among comic book professionals and many fans. Bob Kane for years claimed he was the sole creator of Batman.  The publishers of Batman and all its spinoffs knew differently.  It wasn’t until after Bill Finger’s death that Kane started to give Finger some credit.  Still, Kane was the only one listed on any Batman comic, movie or merchandise.

When Marc Tyler Nobleman learned of this injustice, he made it his life’s mission to right that wrong.  He had nothing to gain, but like a true superhero wanted justice to be served.  And it finally was.

Batman & Bill (2017) rates 4 of 5 stars.

“Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal”: Season 2 | Official Trailer

On March 2, 2023, Alex Murdaugh was found guilty of the murder of his wife, Maggie, and son, Paul. The world watched with bated breath as a verdict was announced. The people of the Lowcountry had been waiting the better part of two years to understand what happened the night of June 7, 2021.

Season 2 will feature first-hand accounts from those who were there the days leading up to and following the murders, giving more insight than ever into that deadly night, including Blanca Turrubiate-Simpson (Former Murdaugh Family Housekeeper) and Mushelle “Shelly” Smith (Caregiver for Libby Murdaugh) – who became some of the most powerful witnesses at the trial – Curtis Edward Smith (aka Cousin Eddie), and Gwen Generette, one of the trial’s jurors. Morgan Doughty, Paul’s ex-girlfriend, Anthony Cook, Paul’s friend, and Valerie Bauerlein, Wall Street Journal reporter, also return.

TOO MANY BULLETS (Nathan Heller) by Max Allan Collins!

Max Allan Collins’ Nate Heller series is one of my favorites. Collins takes famous murders, thoroughly  researches them and then sticks Nate Heller in the middle of things.  It’s cool seeing Heller (who ages in real time through the series) interacting with famous people in cases and often with an ending not quite like what we’ve come to believe.  Collins always includes an afterward with insights and a bibliography.

Collins latest Nate Heller yarn is TOO MANY BULLETS.  Here’s the lowdown…

Acclaimed “True Crime” detective Nathan Heller, whose cases have sold more than 1 million copies, returns to uncover the secrets behind Robert F. Kennedy’s 1968 assassination in this brand-new novel from bestselling ROAD TO PERDITION author Max Allan Collins.

In 1968, Nate Heller is there when Robert Kennedy is shot at the Ambassador Hotel. Heller takes it upon himself to investigate the murder when a friend of his and Bobby’s raises doubts about the LAPD’s investigation. Heller strongly suspects the involvement of Jimmy Hoffa (currently imprisoned), but Hoffa seems to be in the clear as the private eye looks into the possible presence of CIA enemies of RFK’s on the murder night, the apparent manipulation of Sirhan Sirhan into a Manchurian Candidate-style assassin, and a probable second shooter.